The Supreme Court vacancy created by the resignation of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is “a critical moment for the Constitution and a crucial test for President Bush,” said People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas today. “Justice O’Connor has been the most important figure on the Court in recent years,” said Neas. “Her replacement will have a monumental impact on the lives and freedoms of Americans for decades to come.”
In its most recent term, the Supreme Court generally protected key civil rights and liberties and disappointed those seeking to expand property rights and limit Congress’ power, but by narrow margins—that’s the conclusion of a new People For the American Way Foundation analysis of the Court’s non-criminal cases in the 2004-2005 term.
The Senate Judiciary Committee split along partisan lines today as it voted 10 to 8 to advance North Carolina District Court judge Terrence Boyle’s Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals nomination.
A troubling record on discrimination and serious ethical lapses involving practicing law with a suspended license in the District of Columbia and practicing law in Utah without a Utah license– were not enough to keep Thomas Griffith from a lifetime appointment to the powerful Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, as the former Senate legal counsel was confirmed on an 73-24 vote in the Senate today.
Just a day after giving Janice Rogers Brown a lifetime seat on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Senate confirmed William Pryor, another activist right-wing ideologue, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. For the first time, three Republican senators voted against a Bush appellate court nominee.
People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas Wednesday expressed deep disappointment at the confirmation of Texan Priscilla Owen to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, in the first confirmation vote since a compromise was reached to avoid the detonation of the “nuclear option” on filibustering judicial nominees in the Senate.
The explicit language of the agreement reached tonight by a group of senators rejects the nuclear option, preserves the filibuster and ensures that both political parties will have a say in who is appointed to our highest courts. The agreement embodies the very principle of consultation and consensus that the filibuster encourages. This is good news for the American people.
At a news conference this afternoon addressing the nuclear option, African American Ministers in Action Chair Rev. Timothy McDonald made the following statement in response to claims that racism and sexism are behind opposition to the Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown nominations:
“I want to directly address some of the charges that have already been made by several prominent figures on the right and that may well be repeated by the ministers I know will be gathering later this afternoon to talk about Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown.